06 June, 2006

Indonesia quake victims angry aid not flowing

By Jalil Hamid

YOGYAKARTA (Reuters) - Dozens of aid trucks laden with rice remained blocked in government depots on Tuesday due to bureaucratic bottlenecks, angering Indonesian earthquake survivors struggling to rebuild their shattered lives.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla, in the stricken Javanese city of Yogyakarta to oversee aid distribution, had said 200 trucks would start delivering rice to survivors on Tuesday.

But as the day dragged on, 36 trucks full with rice remained in one local government depot alone.

Further angering survivors, local authorities decided to reduce the initial amount of aid money being distributed to victims until further damage assessments were carried out.

"Everybody was hoping to get a full sum immediately. This decision will cause unhappiness," said village head Mohamad Temon, 55, who had gone to the government centre to collect aid disbursement papers.

Ten days after a magnitude 6.3 quake struck Java island at dawn on May 27, killing 5,782 people, tens of thousands remain homeless, living under plastic sheets and tarpulins and in donated tents.

Many are poor labourers and farmers, who make a subsistence living on a patchwork of rice paddys which dot the villages, and have little money to buy food after the quake, let alone building materials.

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